Belfast Telegraph

Belfast man called 'tinker' wins £300k in discrimination case

A Belfast man who was called a "tinker" and asked where he parked his horse and cart has won almost £300,000 in an employment tribunal case.

Recruitment executive Edward Bell, who now lives in Manchester, said his life was made a misery before he was eventually put on gardening leave before leaving Cordant, one of the UK's biggest recruitment firms.

In an employment tribunal in Manchester he claimed harassment related to race as well as unfair dismissal because he made protected disclosures.

During the hearing, the tribunal heard the 52-year-old father of one who is of Romany heritage was also called a "gippo" and "pikey" during the course of his £90,000 a year job.

The tribunal heard that his line manager Sid Barnes harassed him from the first time they met, referring to his “pretty thick Irish accent”.

Mr Bell said after he raised concerns about the £21million takeover of a rival company by his employers the abuse escalated.

The tribunal's judgment said: "We found that, at various times, Mr Barnes was referred to him as a 'pikey' or a 'paddy' and said that the claimant was 'scruffy', 'dressed like a gypsy' or a 'gyppo' or looked like a 'tinker'.

"We conclude that all these comments clearly related to the claimant’s Irish origin and/or his Traveller background and that the comments, therefore, clearly related to race."

Mr Bell was awarded £283,472.03 which included loss of earnings, bonuses, pension, life assurance, long-term illness insurance and injury to feelings.

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